In "Cavite," Adam(Ian Gamazon, who made this film with Neill Dela Llana), 32, works as a security guard in San Diego when he gets the call to return to his native Philippines. Along the way, he finds out that the worst place to find out his girlfriend is breaking up with him and intending to have an abortion is at a pay phone in an airport. Upon arriving in Manila, he finds himself in an episode of "Mission: Impossible" when he discovers a carefully placed cell phone and handset in his backpack. The voice at the other end of the line gives very detailed directions and, despite his karaoke aspirations, makes perfectly clear what will happen to Adam's sister and mother if Adam does not follow them to the letter.
Of all its early tone shifts, the one "Cavite" is not really aiming for is suspense, as it slowly and carefully dispenses information while showing off the Philippines to their worst advantage, much to the consternation of the local tourist council. As much as the movie wants to have something thoughtful to say on the local situation, one has to wonder whose side the movie is on, not just politically, but also philosophically, especially with a protagonist as feckless as Adam.(Anytime someone uses a specific age north of 30 in a movie is not out to be kind.) The kidnapper uses homophobic slurs, not so much to be hateful, but as a way of going after Adam's masculinity while also questioning the level of his beliefs. And as much as the movie wants to shock us with racism in the epilogue, I am pretty sure nobody has ever said those exact words before.